May 9. 2021

May 9, 2021

Worship Resources for 
the Center for Faith and Giving

Easter VI
(also, USA Mother’s Day)

Acts 10:44-48

Psalm 98

1 John 5:1-6

John 15:9-17

Call to Worship  (from Psalm 98)
   (give the congregation a “heads up”;  we’ll clap in thanksgiving in this call to worship)

One:  Sing to the Lord a new song!
Many:  We’ve come to make a joyful noise to the Lord!
One:  Rejoice, for God still brings for steadfast love and faithfulness;
Many:  so we break out with glad voices, and clap our hands as we worship.
             (applaud God for the gifts God offers us today!)
One:  We recognize this Good News:  God’s victory is here, and now!
Many:  This is our moment to sing together for joy!

Opening Prayer  

With the beauty of spring breaking forth, and Easter “Alleluias!” still echoing,
we offer you our praise, God of new life.  
We eagerly seek to love you, love one another and bear fruit that will last!  
So inspire us in this hour, and grant us confidence, that we might live as beloved friends of Jesus, the resurrected Christ, who continually calls us to abundant life.    AMEN

Moment for Stewardship  

(if you can, use Christ Tomlin’s “Shout to the Lord” for offertory, either as a music video, solo, or choir anthem. It’s an appropriate song for today.  One is Don Moen’s You Tube:

I wonder if you do this same thing?  

When I think about the people I love, I often think of the tangible ways I try to express that love.  Expressing love often takes the form of offering gifts I believe that person will enjoy.  (use your own experience here…for me, I know my spouse loves chocolate chip cookies, so when I want to rejoice and celebrate that love, I make those cookies.)

Our scripture this morning encourages us to hear Jesus’ proclamation of loving his followers.  
He laid down his life for his friends, believing we would grasp abundant life.
Jesus went on to appoint the disciples, and today, appoints us (his followers) 
to bear fruit that will last.

That fruit shows up in a variety of ways, including in our morning offering!  The gifts we bring (gifts from our hearts) are translated into coins, bills and checks.
We may physically handle them and place them in an offering basket or tray,
we may text our financial contributions, 
or simply set up a regular withdrawal from our checking account.

But behind the finances is our desire to express our love 
for our Creator, our Redeemer, our Sustainer,
   and for sisters and brothers both here in our own community and 
    around the world.

So, let’s shout to the Lord:  we love you! 

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Take our gifts, Composing God, 
and weave a song of healing for the broken, 
                           of nourishment for the hungry, 
                           of hope for those who despair,
                           and peace for those torn by violence.  
We sing our praises, as we offer our treasures, as well as our hearts, 
in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

Invitation to Communion  

In many homes around the United States, today is marked as “Mother’s Day”.  While not everyone has a positive relationship to their Mother, we can recognize, at her best, “Mom” is one who loves and cares for family.

So when we come to this time of communion, I invite you to bring to mind the best images you have of a positive “mother”.  Hopefully that’s someone who has nurtured you, provided a safe place for you, made sure you had food to nourish you.

It’s just that image we can bring to this table.  Here we’re welcomed by the resurrected Christ, who took common elements from a meal shared by friends, and imbued them with new meaning.  Here, bread became the symbol for Jesus’ own body.  A cup of wine became the symbol for Jesus’ blood.  And with these elements, Jesus encouraged his followers to remember him until they would feast together in God’s fulfilled realm.

Like the best image of “mother” we can bring to mind, the living Christ still offers love to each one of us, and to all, in these gifts of bread and cup. 

So come!  There’s a place for you at the table.  It’s a gathering of those who are loved by Christ and called “friends”.  You are welcome here!